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Ok to turn baby grand on its keys to move it?
#106951 04/16/08 07:26 AM
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Firstly, sorry for asking so many questions as a new member - I hope that one day I'll be able to give back in the same way that you all have to me over the past week!

In the meantime, I'm beginning to worry that my piano in the basement idea might not work out. This is quite upsetting because I want one badly but have absolutely nowhere else to put it.

I've assumed all along that moving a baby grand into the basement wouldn't be a problem because it's physically possible. However, I called some piano movers today and there is some concern because our steps have a turn in them. Basically, they say that the preferred method is to lay it on its side and use a skid to get it down steps. A turn would make this method impossible.

One mover mentioned, "you could turn it on your keys, but you're risking damage." If I buy a piano (and I was really hoping to this weekend), am I risking anything by letting an experienced piano mover turn my piano on its keys to get it down our steps? Will I have trouble finding someone who will take it out one day?

I'm looking for honest answers here, despite it meaning that I may have to abandon my dream of owning a baby grand.

Thanks to all...

Re: Ok to turn baby grand on its keys to move it?
#106952 04/16/08 08:20 AM
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Sometimes you have to move a piano that way (called "dumping"). My gorgeous seven foot grand had to be raised on its key end to get it into the elevator at my building, and it was fine. (If you think about it, lots of apartment buildings will require this maneuver.) The movers were experts, and there were six of them, and the piano came through the experience with no damage. Of course, a flight of stairs makes the moving much more expensive, as does the fact that you will probably need extra crew (the moving company that moved my grand sent both their crews for this project). One additional piece of advice: DO NOT WATCH.

Re: Ok to turn baby grand on its keys to move it?
#106953 04/16/08 09:48 AM
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What a learnig experience for me. I too wouldn't want to watch someone move my piano using the "dumping" method. It's a shame you can't just place the piano on the main floor.


Daniel E. Friedman, co-owner of www.pianolessons101.com
You CAN learn to play the piano in a fun and positive way.
Re: Ok to turn baby grand on its keys to move it?
#106954 04/16/08 11:21 AM
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BrianB,

A word of caution! Be sure to secure with extra support the stairs with 2x4 or whatever! If you have all that weight on your basement stairs, the piano plus 2-3 men on them, you want to be sure that the stairs won't COLLAPSE! Piano movers should know this, but some do not!

Even if you have to move a dining room table or something, I'd just find room for the baby grand piano upstairs!

This is from someone who has had too many pianos moved up and down stairs. And remember, if you do decide to have the piano moved downstairs, don't watch! laugh

Hope this helps!


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Re: Ok to turn baby grand on its keys to move it?
#106955 04/16/08 12:52 PM
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any building that has a freight elevator not deep enough for the length of the piano has likely had a key-end move done.

You take the action out, remove the keyslip, music desk, even the lid if you want to and heavily pad the keybed and of course are very cautious -- as you would be in any move.


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Re: Ok to turn baby grand on its keys to move it?
#106956 04/16/08 03:20 PM
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A baby grand should be shorter than its width, otherwise it is a schoolchild or teenager.

This grand is then more than 160 cm long?

If mooved standing on its heand, the removal of the action etc is very recommendable.

Re: Ok to turn baby grand on its keys to move it?
#106957 04/16/08 05:59 PM
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What you need to do is make a scale drawing of the path the piano will take, and then cut out a model of a moving board (about 15" x 72") and move it through the drawing.

If the stairs are interior, you may not be able to fit the piano under the ceiling. You need to measure the perpendicular distance from the edges of the steps to any overhang. This is a problem that you cannot avoid even by moving the piano on its keyboard.


Semipro Tech
Re: Ok to turn baby grand on its keys to move it?
#106958 04/17/08 07:47 AM
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Again, thanks to everyone for your help. I made the scale drawing and will take it with me tonight.

BDB, I measured the perpendicular, as you suggested. Only 5' at the very bottom of the stairs because we dropped our ceiling. The piano we're looking at is exactly 1" shorter than this. I think that this hangup might be the nail in the coffin, but I'll let the dealers decide that...

Re: Ok to turn baby grand on its keys to move it?
#106959 04/18/08 12:00 PM
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You need room for the equipment that protects the piano. That needs to be added to the height. It sounds like you are out of luck.


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Re: Ok to turn baby grand on its keys to move it?
#106960 04/18/08 02:06 PM
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Hi,
I would be very concerned about moisture in a basement. Don't put a piano down there without a very good humidity control system as well. BTW if it were me I'd put a studio upright or console in there and call it a day.
-MC


practice!
Re: Ok to turn baby grand on its keys to move it?
#106961 04/24/08 03:12 PM
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Just a word of advice. Have a competant tech. take out the action, fall board, key slip before it is turned "keys down". You will be far less likely to do any real damage this way.

Good luck!

PS: Put a damp chaser on this piano if it has to go in a basement!


Dennis C.
Piano Store Operator,
Former District Manager,
20 Year Industry Experience

"Tell the truth, honor God, and make money!"

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